Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,
First I love to thank Georgia (a.k.a. Bastet) for taking care for our posts of this weekend. I have enjoyed my free weekend and had a bit time to respond on my unread mail and to comment on all of your wonderful haiku shared through the prompts of this month.
Yesterday we entered the realm of the most famous journey by Matsuo Basho, "the narrow road into the deep north". And today we are going further on this journey in which we will step in the footsteps of Basho. Our haiku for today we have seen earlier, maybe you can remember that as you will read this haiku for today.
The verse/haiku which is our prompt for today was written on May 20th of the year 1688 at Urami (no take) Falls, about four miles (six km) west of Nikko. The waterfalls were previously accesible from behind, but an earthquake and flood in 1905 made the path inaccessible. In the haiku Basho is referring to the ninety-day period of ascetic seclusion prescribed for Buddhist monks each summer. In that year (1688) the event started on June 3rd.
This haiku is part of his Oku no Hosomichi, but it wasn't written during his journey as we can see at the date (1688), because he started his most famous trip in 1689. This means that he made his most famous haibun on a later date using haiku written earlier. And that's what the most sources tell us too. Basho composed/compiled his most famous haibun in the years after this almost 160 days journey he went on.
shi baraku wa taki ni komoru ya ge no haijime
for a while
secluded behind the waterfall
summer retreat begins
© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)
Isn't it a wonderful haiku? It gives me a lot of different feelings and thoughts. What an experience this must have been to sit behind a waterfall listening to the sound of the falling water, the sound of water droplets falling ... must have been a spiritual experience and that's why Basho is referring to the ninety day seclusion of Buddhist monks ... a time to meditate, to contemplate and become one with nature, one with the Cosmos .... awesome.
How I am longing for such an experience. Going away, on my own, only myself and nature. Trying to find new strength and energy to go on with my life ... being silent ... one with the Cosmos .... finally finding the peace which I need so much .... finding the balance back ...
This haiku inspired me to write the following haiku (not a new one, but from my archives, but it came in mind immediately) ...
soothing - like meditating
behind the waterfall
Well .... we are on our way to the deep north together with Basho and his travel companion Sora ... and we will learn the beauty of Japan ... that faraway country to which I have lost my heart.
This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until May 20th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, a summer mountain, later on. For now ... be inspired and compose an all new haiku and share it with us.